Alabama's first-ever statewide crackdown on drunk drivers and other traffic offenders kicked off this past Saturday. The effort is being led by Alabama's Department of Public Safety (DPS) and will target intoxicated drivers, as well as other traffic violations that are known by police to result in vehicle accidents. Seat belt usage will also be monitored heavily.
According to Alabama's Public Safety Director, Colonel Chris Murphy, an additional 400 state troopers will be on heightened alert for lawbreakers through the Memorial Day weekend. For drunk drivers, the DPS will reportedly have mobile blood-alcohol testing units, nicknamed “batmobiles,” located throughout the state during the May blitz.
The month-long campaign is aimed at making the state's highways safer, and officials say the crackdowns are effective. As proof that these concentrated enforcement tactics are working, the DPS recorded 967 highway deaths in 2008, the lowest number since 1985 — in that year 892 were killed on the state's roads.
Officials at the DPS report that fully 40 percent of the 967 deaths last year involved impaired driving (including DUI), and 60 percent involved passengers who did not use seat belts but could have. “Even with those two figures, we reduced the number of fatalities by 132 from 2007,” Murphy said.
For comparison, DPS records show that 1,099 people died in statewide crashes during 2007, while 1,208 people were killed in 2006. The enforcement blitzes were initiated in 2007.
The latest effort is primarily focused on curbing drunken driving and enforcing seat belt use. Major enforcement efforts have already started in both the northern and southern parts of Alabama, and will move toward the middle of the state, shifting enforcement emphasis every week. For instance, troopers may concentrate on impaired drivers in one part of the state and seat belt use in another part of the state the following week.
If you or a family member has been issued a DUI summons recently we encourage you to retain the services of a qualified Alabama DUI Attorney. The legal professionals at the Eversole Law Firm are available now to help protect your rights.
Alabama trooper blitz on bad drivers will last until Memorial Day weekend, AL.com, May 6, 2009
Ala. troopers launch first-ever statewide blitz, Fox17.com, May 6, 2009